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At least clear your own backyard: SC pulls up Delhi cops on Nizamuddin congestion

The Delhi police commissioner was summoned by the Supreme Court on July 27 over non-implementation of the recommendations of a task force report on easing traffic congestion and removing roadside encroachments in the Capital.

delhi Updated: Jul 31, 2018 11:00 IST
Ashok Bagriya
Ashok Bagriya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Supreme Court,Nizamuddin,Delhi police
Illegally parked private cars alongside vehicles seized as case property crowd out the motorable space available to commuters in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area.(Burhaan Kinu/HT File Photo)

The Supreme Court told Delhi police on Monday to clear all impounded vehicles from the Nizamuddin police station at the earliest, coming down hard on the law-enforcement authority’s inability to fix road-space encroachments that have become the Capital’s embarrassment.

Commissioner Amulya Patnaik was directed to frame a policy to prevent police stations from becoming veritable junkyards clogged with confiscated automobiles dumped haphazardly inside and outside the premises.

A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta remarked that by merely removing these vehicles from police stations, the Delhi police commissioner “will be doing a service to the nation”. Patnaik assured the court that the Nizamuddin police station would be cleared over the next fortnight.

In a series taking stock of the most clogged road stretches in Delhi, HT highlighted on May 8 how the roundabout near the Nizamuddin police station — an arterial connection between south Delhi and NCR towns — is a commuter’s nightmare at the best of times and virtually impossible to thread through for four-wheel vehicles during rush hour. Illegally parked private cars alongside vehicles seized as case property crowd out the motorable space available to commuters.

The Delhi police commissioner was summoned by the Supreme Court on July 27 over non-implementation of the recommendations of a task force report on easing traffic congestion and removing roadside encroachments in the Capital. Despite two anti-encroachment drives initiated by the Supreme Court-appointed special task force on Mathura Road in May, during which over 50 illegally parked cars were impounded, roads around the station continued to be cluttered.

The commissioner was at the receiving end of some tough questions from the court on Monday. Showing displeasure over the state of roads in the national capital, justice Lokur said, “There is junk lying outside your own police station in Nizamuddin... you cannot clear the dump. Inside the police station also there is congestion. What do you propose to do and why has it not been done earlier?”

Justices Lokur and Gupta directed the commissioner to frame a policy to dispose seized vehicles by either moving court applications or shifting them elsewhere, saying, “it (a confiscated vehicle) cannot lie in the police station for years”.

The court observed these old vehicles had become a breeding ground for diseases and also pulled up the police commissioner and the PWD (public works department) chief engineer of the Delhi government for just conducting meetings and not following through.

“Movies are made about taarik pe taarik given by courts, now people will say meeting pe meeting and nothing coming out of it,” justice Lokur remarked.

“You want the city of Delhi to crack open? Floods and everything else is happening here. The capital of an emerging economy is getting flooded. What kind of impression is going out?” he said.

“Fix a timeline for works that need to be done and we request the PWD department to cooperate with Delhi police,” the court said with regard to the implementation of the task force report to remove encroachments.

First Published: Jul 31, 2018 07:23 IST